The Jammu and Kashmir government today dismissed reports that LED bulbs distributed under the ‘UJALA’ scheme had surveillance cameras fitted in them, saying the initiative was not Kashmir-centric but pan-India, whereby 40 crore bulbs have been distributed so far.
“There is absolutely no truth in these reports that surveillance cameras have been fitted inside the LED bulbs.
This is not just a Kashmir-centric scheme,” Hashmat Qazi, Nodal Officer for Demand Side Management (DSM) of the scheme.
He said the UJALA scheme was being implemented across the country and so far 40 crore bulbs have been distributed.
“We had set a target of distributing around 80 lakh bulbs in Jammu and Kashmir and so far we have achieved nearly 75 per cent of the target,” he said.
The Unnat Jeevan by Affordable LEDs and Appliances for All (UJALA) scheme is being implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a JV under the administration of Ministry of Power, Government of India.
Qazi said Jammu and Kashmir and Goa were the only states where the LED bulbs were being provided at subsidised rates.
An official of the state Power Development department, on condition of anonymity, said some LED and CFL bulb dealers in the valley were hell-bent on sabotaging the UJALA scheme.
He alleged that some of the dealers had stocked LED bulbs and CFLs worth crores of rupees, but were now finding it difficult to sell their products in view of the “good quality LED bulbs being provided at highly subsidised rates under the UJALA scheme.”
“The consumers can even buy the bulbs at non-subsidised rates (under UJALA scheme) which are less than 50 per cent of what these bulbs cost in open market,” he added.
A report on a local news website had claimed that there were apprehensions among people that the LED bulbs distributed under the UJALA scheme had hidden surveillance cameras.
Amid a sudden rise in clashes between militants and security forces in Kashmir, rumor mills are rife that the subsidised LED bulbs given by the government are equipped with hi-tech spy sensors to keep the security forces updated about any militant movement in residential areas.